9 julio, 2024

Francisco Colmenero: biography, characters and films

Francisco Colmenero (1932) is a voice actor and dubbing director of Mexican origin. His most important works have been done for Disney, being him the official voice of Goofy for many Spanish-speaking countries. In addition, Colmenero served as a dubbing director on several animated films.

He started dubbing in 1954 thanks to the series The adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Since 1977 he has been one of the most recurring voice actors in Disney projects, being the voice in Spanish of endearing characters such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pumbaa, Papa Smurf or Pluto..

Despite his age, he is still active, being the Spanish voice of Pedro El Malo in the programs that are broadcast on the Disney Channel. He is classified by many as «the voice of Disney», although his works cover areas such as advertising and films of all genres.

In addition to being a renowned vocal actor, he has also served in his more than 60-year artistic career as a director, translator, director of the musical area, and even as a singer.

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Biography

José Francisco Colmenero y Villanueva, born on February 28, 1932 in Mexico City, is one of the most important figures in the world of Spanish dubbing. This is endorsed by more than 60 years as a professional.

He began his career as a dubbing actor in 1954 and during his professional life he has played various roles in artistic productions. He has worked on more than 40 projects that have to do with commercial voice overs.

As a translator, he has participated in works such as Mary Poppins, Bernardo and Bianca, as well as several films of the character Mickey Mouse. He has dubbed documentaries, anime, animated series, shorts, movies and Brazilian soap operas.

In addition, his voice has been part of more than ten video games and he has even been in charge of the dubbing direction of a large number of productions.

He dubbed characters from important television series into Spanish, such as the award-winning lostwhere he gave voice to John Locke. He worked in shows like CSI: At the Scene of the Crime, Dallas, Desperate Housewives, Hannah Montana, The Munster Family, Miami Vice either Zack and Cody.

He became a shareholder, since 1977, of the Mexican Spanish dubbing company Grabaciones y Doblajes SA, which was founded in 1961 by his brother-in-law Edmundo Santos. Currently it is known by the name of New Art Dub.

But if something has marked Colmenero’s career, it has been his link with the Disney company. His work will always be remembered thanks to the multiple characters he gave voice to such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy or Pedro El Malo. As well as his participation in the Spanish versions of Beauty and the Beast in 1991 and 2017.

Personal life

Colmenero has two sisters, Alicia and Gloria. He married María Teresa Colmenero, also an adapter and translator of Disney scripts into Spanish.

One of his brothers-in-law, Edmundo Santos, was also a renowned dubbing actor. Santos joined Walt Disney in 1943 and, from Los Angeles, in the United States, he was in charge of dubbing the production company’s films into Spanish.

When Santos died in 1977, Colmenero took charge of directing the dubbing of almost all of Disney’s works for about ten years.

a family affair

Dubbing and locution has been a family tradition for those closest to Colmenero. Several members of his family group dedicated themselves to this area of ​​the artistic environment. His brothers-in-law Edmundo Santos and José Manuel Rosano were renowned vocal actors, as was his niece Cristina Camargo.

His two nephews, María Antonieta “Tony” Santos and Edmundo Santos, had a brief foray into the world of dubbing when they were very young. Like Tony Assael, who hasn’t worked as a vocal actress since 1982.

His great-niece, Diana Galván Santos, has followed in the footsteps of the family clan. She participated in movie versions as aladdin and Dumbowhich premiered in 2019. While Colmenero’s grandson, Francisco «Paco» Colmenero, stood out by dubbing Chip’s voice, the famous porcelain cup from Beauty and the Beast.

Colmenero is also the uncle of Alicia Diana Santos Colmenero, a dubbing actress and presenter with almost 60 years of experience. He has also worked for various Disney productions. Among his works, he highlights having been the official voice of Minnie Mouse and Bella, the protagonist of Beauty and the Beast.

Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney himself chose Edmundo Santos to be the Spanish voice of Mickey Mouse. When Disney decided to move his Spanish dubbing studios to Mexico (after years in Los Angeles, California), Santos decided to hand over the role of the famous mouse to his brother-in-law, Francisco Colmenero.

For 20 years, Colmenero was in charge of being the voice in Spanish of the most iconic Disney character, in fact, he did the dubbing of almost all the main characters that participate in the Mickey Mouse stories (except Donald, Minnie and Daisy).

In 1988 he left the dubbing of Mickey due to a decision by Disney. The same thing happened with his dubbing of Goofy, which she did until 1995. A curious fact is that she has been the only person to lend his voice for the Spanish dubbing of Pedro El Malo.

Debt with Mexico

In 2017 Colmenero was part of Coconut, a Disney film that was inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition. For Colmenero, this film was a great tribute from the company to the Latin American country. He did the voice of Don Hidalgo in the Spanish version.

In addition, the dubbing actor considered that it was a good form of payment by Disney for the debt it had with Mexico. For Colmenero, Disney owed this recognition to Mexico for being the country where the dubbing of his productions has been carried out for many years.

Acknowledgments

In 2012, as a celebration of his 80 years, a tribute was held to honor Colmenero. It happened on February 28 in Mexico City and was attended by many dubbing actors.

In April 2019, he left his footprints in the Galerías las Estrellas square, better known as the Paseo de las luminarias in Mexico City.

References

The parallel activities to «Mexico and Walt Disney: A Magical Encounter» conclude with a talk on dubbing. (2018). Recovered from cinetecanacional.net
The most popular announcer in Latin America. Recovered from elbuenhablante.com
The legend of dubbing in Mexico. (2015). Recovered from ejecentral.com.mx
They pay tribute to voice dubbing in the exhibition «Mexico and Walt Disney». (2017). Recovered from 20minutos.com.mx
Zapata, G. (2016). Getting ready, the essentials to be a broadcaster: Francisco Colmenero. Recovered from radionotas.com

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